Thomas Hunt

Thomas Hunt

1882-1938

Thomas Hunt first studied painting with his father, Canadian painter John Powell Hunt (1854-1931). He then studied with noted American painter Hugh Breckenridge (1870-1937) at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and later in Gloucester, Massachusetts at Breckenridge’s school, which he opened in 1920. Painting, however, was not Hunt’s primary vocation. He developed a lucrative career as a real estate developer and, seeking new opportunities in that field, moved to California in 1923. Drawn to the burgeoning art colony in Laguna Beach, he opened a painting studio and joined the Laguna Beach Art Association where he was active in securing the site for their permanent gallery on Cliff Drive, which opened in February 1929.

Hunt’s painting style departs from that of his California contemporaries in that he embraced modernist ideas, including simplification of form, bold color, and heavy impasto. Such ideas came directly from his association with Breckenridge, who was considered a champion of modernist ideas

Harbor of Gloucester
Oil on canvas, c. 1934
28 x 30 inches
Gift of Franis and McKinsey Helm
1950.014